78% say Voice is Still the most Important Business Tool

78% of UK employees and IT leaders identify voice as the most critical form of business communication and almost half (47%) suggest it is the best channel through which to solve complex business issues – which is significantly higher than email (33%) and social networks (19%) in this regard. However, according to the Critical Communications report, released today by intelligent voice solutions provider Resilient Networks, the performance of the technologies and networks that support this business critical communication channel is far from perfect.

Eight in ten Employees are frustrated by the performance of their organisation’s voice communication system and their three biggest frustrations at work, as it relates to technology, are linked to voice communications. More than three quarters of Employees (79%) cite missing calls as a major bugbear. This may be attributable to the fact that over half of Employees (53%) suggest that activating business phone services such as call diverting and automatic answering is not easy to do, despite 80% of them stating that they regularly use these services to enable them to do their jobs better.

The study, which was carried out by Coleman Parkes, further reveals that in the majority of business situations, voice is the preferred channel of communication. The ability to make and receive calls is also cited as important and or critical by the majority of Employees (81%) as it relates to their organisation’s day-to-day running. This view is shared by IT leaders, with 62% suggesting that a failure in voice communication would be disruptive, and over a fifth (21%) going as far as saying that it would destroy their organisation.

60% of IT leaders are intending to invest in their voice/telephone network in the near future – this is the highest ranked communications channel. But, despite this intention to investment into communications technology, and the overwhelming evidence that voice communications is critical to operational effectiveness, the frustrations employees are currently experiencing with regards to voice networks suggests that that investment is not being made into the right areas of this critical business function at this moment in time.

More worrying than the disconnect in investment and user experience is perhaps the fact that almost half of IT leaders (46%) admit to not being aware of a mechanism within their own company for restoring voice call technology in the case of failure. And nearly a quarter of IT leaders (23%) do not know which metrics are used to measure the performance voice communications technology within their organisations.

Andrew Bale, CEO at Resilient Networks comments, “The research highlights the critical role voice communication has to play in facilitating smooth and uninterrupted services to the business ecosystem as a whole. It has also revealed that both IT leaders and Employees believe that this communication channel will become increasingly important over the next three years.

“At the same time this is worrying. The frustrations around voice communications, as experienced by Employees, prove that investment into this business critical communications channel may not be into the right areas. At the very least the research should show IT and business leaders that efforts to improve this service are not focused enough.

“Moving forward IT leaders and business decision makers will have to start paying more attention to a service that many of them take for granted. Otherwise they will be at real risk of compromising critical businesses operations.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine

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